THE Australian Government is recognising Reef Guardian Schools across Queensland for positive, on-ground environmental actions in their schools and communities to help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Each year five schools receive $1000 from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, rewarding their environmental projects over the past year.
“In the Far North, Gordonvale State School has been awarded for their outstanding commitment to a sustainable future for the Reef,” said Mr Entsch.
Ten Reef Guardian Schools also receive $500 Ripples of Change grants as seed funding for new environmental initiatives in their local area, with Wonga Beach State School successful in this round.
“It’s a privilege to be able to recognise Reef Guardian School students and teachers who are committed to helping protect their local environment and the Great Barrier Reef,” said Mr Entsch.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Reef Guardian School students are the future custodians of the Reef and it is important to support their efforts in caring for their environment and promoting real change in their communities.
“Students are actively involved in activities including tree planting, recycling, energy efficiency, community environmental projects, sustainable farming for school canteens and local waterway rehabilitation,” said Minister Hunt.
“The Reef is facing challenges and all actions — big or small — are vital to the Reef’s future.”
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef Guardian Schools program includes 310 schools and more than 126,000 students across Queensland.
“It encourages students to be active community leaders in environmental sustainability and encourages schools to commit to a better future for the Great Barrier Reef,” said Mr Entsch.
“Through this environmental education program, each school undertakes a variety of activities aimed at improving the Reef’s health and resilience.”
A full list of winners and further information about the Reef Guardian Schools program is available at www.gbrmpa.gov.au.